In most ordinary high schools, many stories and rumors float around—some scandalous, some happy and some...more macabre. One such example is of monsters lurking in an abandoned mansion outside of town. Such tales, however, prove too tempting to resist for Hiroshi and his friends Mika, Takeshi, and Takurou. They decide to brave the rumored dangers in order to investigate the manor and complete a test of courage. Each of them approaches the mansion with an overwhelming sense of dread. And when they enter, they come upon a blue monster named Ao Oni who attacks them.
As Hiroshi and his friends try to solve the various puzzles in the mansion and escape their new blue nemesis, they find themselves meeting several horrible endings as they fail miserably.
Ao Oni; a game that I played a couple of years ago and ended up enjoying, albeit nothing amazing or too special. So, when the anime was announced before the start up of this current anime season I was intrigued. How could they possibly adapt such a short story, and one in which features a purple/blue monster that chases you around a mansion? Well the answer was simple cries Studio Deen: DON'T EVEN TRY!
The anime consist of short three minute episodes that are neither funny nor well animated. The anime is clearly trying to go for comedy but it comes across as so strange and
bizarre that it feels awkward instead. Most of the time, the jokes they're trying to tell are humorous when out of context, but the presentation is so sloppy and strange, it feels off putting. The comedy feels forced most of the time and unoriginal, so much so, I wonder why they even bothered to make this in the first place. The characters are all boring stereotypes that have no charm or have no chemistry between any of them. The animation is very basic but easy on the eyes. It doesn't look ugly, per say but it's not exactly the worst I've ever seen either.
This show is the equivalent of a "huh, whatever". There is nothing memorable or special about this show at all, even more so considering how much the original popularity for the game has died down and if this show had been airing along side the hype for said game, I could understand why this was made. It may improve in the coming episodes but I highly doubt that. If you REALLY like Ao Oni I may recommend this as you may find some enjoyment but for everyone else, I'd tell you to keep away and don't even bother. Its entire existence is pointless and it serves no purpose, not even to die hard fans of the original game.
Episodes 4, 12, and 13 are the only ones worth watching. At my least critical, I might include episodes 5 and 11 with those on the account that they mildly amused me, though I will still likely forget them a week after I've written this review. If you've stumbled upon this series of comedy shorts because of the following the original freeware Ao Oni game has gained, that's really all you need to know. Those are the only episodes of this show that I might consider clever, and even then, not by much. Most of the humor in these shorts is very stale and predictable,
and this problem can primarily be attributed to the characters, because they really aren't characters. They're each a single personality trait combined with a cluster of stereotypical horror character traits. In a freeware game where the focus is on the scares and the atmosphere, this characterization is forgivable. In a comedy series, it ensures that the punchline of each joke is heavily predictable and that the characters never form any meaningful chemistry. The story is largely just meant to be a vehicle for the comedy, and is thus also not worth talking about. The music is completely forgettable, the lone exception being the repeating strings that play whenever being chased by the titular monster in the original game. This track has been seared into the mind of anyone who has experienced the Ao Oni game. Even though it's really only a few seconds of music repeated over and over, it coneys a sense of panic well and manages never to get old or annoying. Thankfully, it's not overused in the series. It and the show's simple but effective art are the only things I can imagine remaining the same in the alternate universe where this show was a comedy masterpiece. Overall, if you REALLY have to see all of the semi-decent anime in existence, watch the episodes I listed above. If you're nowhere near that obsessive, skip this series. The good episodes aren't worth wading through the crappy ones, and even on their own, they never get more than a brief small chuckle. Just look up "Ao Oni Funny Moments" on YouTube and you'll probably get dozens of videos that will make you laugh more than all of the episodes in this series combined.
The best way I have to review and describe this... It was like watching Happy Tree Friends; Chibi Anime Edition... I watched Markiplier of course play this game, but even so I just... I couldnt get on board fully with the series... It was just so all over the place. The game was interesting both in story and character, I would have liked to have seen this as maybe an explanation into some of the events of the game... Instead I just walked away feeling like.... Well then... This is what happens when Happy Tree Friends turns Anime...
OI STOP DICTATING HOW LONG MY REVIEW
HAS TO BE... A REVIEW IS SUPPOSED TO BE PERSONAL OPINION NOT PERSONAL NOVEL... HOW LONG DO YOU WANT THIS THING TO BE SEESH.... I DONT HAVE MUCH MORE TO SAY THEN CHIBI ANIME HAPPY TREE FRIENDS BUT NOOOO MAL YOU WANT A FRICKEN NOVEL WRITTEN ABOUT THE SHOW.... Fine lets do this...
Long long ago it all started in a dreary anime chibi styled world, a group of friends decide to go hunt down haunted places, as they approach an old style abandoned mansion they step in, when suddenly WHAM THEY ALL TURN INTO CHIBI HAPPY TREE FRIENDS as the door slams behind them! Suddenly everything is chaotic and for some reason one of them runs and hides in a cupboard only to get electrocuted IDK WHY... BECAUSE HTF THATS WHY... It all spirals out of control from there.... Am I done yet Is this novel satisfactory to your character limit MAL?
I'm kinda disheartened by the overall low scores for this otherwise genius masterwork of comedic fiction. Now I do an extent of ignorance towards the sorce material but from the sounds of it, they made the right choice in making Ao Oni the Animation such a classic comedy anime. Along with the likes of Corpse Party, the amount of thoughtful shock value is exceedingly high. Personally, I laugh at every episode with a huge grin on my face.
Many of the characters reminded me of my wonderful friends, so seeing them get brutally murdered by Ao Oni every week is slightly heart wrenching, but nonetheless a
satisfying time. Every character is distinct, what with their own terrib- I mean beautiful designs and interpersonal traits.
Now, if you can read past my sarcasm, I actually think Ao Oni is an underrated masterpiece of comedy. Hey, I laugh at the characters being dismembered on a regular basis... so it can't be all that bad. Right?